Nevada's eight public higher education institutions contributed $2.7 billion to the state's economy last year, according to a report released today by the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE).
The study revealed that NSHE institutions are the state's second largest employer (public or private) with a combined 15,101 jobs, lagging only behind the Clark County School District, with these jobs in every community in the state. Nearly 20 percent ($267 million) of NSHE's 2009 expenditures were from federal research grants which multiplied to a $534 million economic impact to the state.
"Supporting higher education is a smart investment in Nevada's future," said Chancellor Dan Klaich. "For every dollar we receive in state appropriations, NSHE generates $4.39 in economic activity for our state. The bottom line is that education trains our workforce, develops our future leaders and creates cutting edge research that helps us build a new Nevada."
The study was undertaken by the Center for Economic Development and the Center for Regional Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno and the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in preparation for the 2011 legislative debate about appropriate funding levels for Nevada's public education systems, both K-12 and higher education.
The report showed a $1.00 reduction in NSHE expenditures would reduce Nevada's total economic output by $2.00 and reducing the NSHE workforce by one employee reduces Nevada's employment by 1.58 jobs.